Paying for my daughter's friend lunches. Illegal??? UPDATED
My daughter is in 7th grade. She is friends with this very nice, very shy, polite girl. They have been friends since 3 grade. I honestly like this girl a lot, because even though my daughter is nice, responsible and all, she can have some crazy ideas sometimes. And this other girl is always "soothing her out" So I like her friendship with my daughter.
Well on 5th grade, my daughter told me her friend had lost her home and went to live with grandma, then in 6th grade she said the grandma had kick her friend out (and her mom and brother) then later on moved into a motel.
All this time, she had been "sharing" her lunch with the friend. (yes she isn't supposed to share) I told her if they were living in a motel, maybe they had financial hardship, and that probably she could qualify for reduced meals or lunches. Well, my daughter said she qualify for reduced but that her mom wont put money on it since she never have money, so she had to bring lunch from home, but then said that in her house, there was never "lunch food". So at my daughter sleep over I over heard them talking, my daughter asking her: "So what do you do when there is no food?" she answered: " I just go to a friends house or something" ok so it broke my heart. I called CPS and made a report, and to the school as well. CPS did nothing. They had an interview and that was that.
So after that, I begin filling this little girl lunch card with money. Only about 40 cents per meal, no big deal. Its been two years.
Today in the morning my daughter said she had a negative balance in her own card.. so I went to school to fill it up in the cafeteria. And since I usually do both at the same time, I figured that her friend's balance was negative too. I asked the lady if -her name- had a negative balance as well. She said, she couldnt give me that information, because Im not the girl's mother. I said I knew her mom, but she refused. So I told her ok, and gave her 30 dlls and asked her to put them in her account. She looked at me and asked if I was paying for the girl's lunches, and I said yes. She gave me back the money and said that I couldn't do that because that was ILLEGAL. How is that illegal??? I gave the money to my daughter and told her to put it in her friends card and she didnt have a problem with it.
I dont want to get in trouble obviously, but I dont want this girl to not have a decent lunch because of her mom's issues....
UPDATE. Omg thank you so much for all the answers. I was feeling a bit scared because for some reason she made me doubt that I was actually doing something illegal. My husband just called one of his friends who's father is a police man. He explained the whole thing. The father (cop) said it is not Illegal in California to pay for a child's meal, even if the child is not your own. Phew!! But he did said Im not supposed to ask ANY questions about another child's account. He will talk to my husband tomorrow after work to see into this girl situation, and he said too, is a big chance if the mom is living in a motel that both her children can get completely free meals. I dont know where the brother (7) is but I do know that she does fills his account- (my daughter's friend told my daughter.) Her reasoning? Because the brother is little, and she can make her own lunch. But with what?? She can't bring microwave meals to school.
So anyhow, I plan on refilling her account until either she gets them free or something. I have never been in this situation but once I read a book called "the it child" or something, and I cannot bare the thought of hunger in kids.
Thank you thank you!!